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Pronunciation of Suffolk place names.

Some placenames in Suffolk are not pronounced as they are written. So what? Well, for the user of this site, especially across the Atlantic or in the antipodes, They might feel closer to the home of their ancestors by being able to pronounce it as their ancestors did! This is an attempt to list all the placenames in Suffolk that are not pronounced exactly as they appear.

A few starting points. In common with other English placenames, Suffolk placenames are usually pronounced with the stress on the first syllable. Among towns in Suffolk, Saxmundham is the great exception. I have tried to include all exceptions below.

The following is not an attempt at Suffolk dialect. This is how someone with a standard English accent (like myself) would pronounce them. Where the Suffolk dialect pronounciation differs, I have tried to include this.

Particularly for visitors from across the Atlantic, there is an issue with places ending in -ham, -ton, -by and -ford.

Contrary to American usage, and in common with other English placenames, -ham at the end of a placename is invariably pronounced -um, with a short u. Thus, Lavenham is Lav'n -um.

-ton is usually pronounced -tun, with a short u, best expressed as -t'n. Thus, Boyton is Boy-t'n.

-by is usually pronounced -bee. Thus, Ashby is Ash-bee.

-ford is usually pronounced -fud, with a short u, best expressed as -f'd. Thus, Playford is Play-f'd.

I have not attempted to include all -ham, -ton and -ford endings, where the pronunciation is otherwise obvious. Please accept the above as a general guide. I HAVE included towns where this is an issue.

Also, most English people convert a middle T into a glottal stop, moving the consonant into the back of the throat. This obviously affects placenames like Boyton. I haven't included these in the list below, unless there are other pronunciation issues.

Here we go then...

The stress is on the first syllable, unless otherwise stated.

Akenham is Ake-un'm, the first syllable rhyming with lake.

Aldeburgh is Orld-bruh.

Alderton is Orl-der-t'n.

Aldham is pronounced Orld'm.

Aldringham is Orl-dring'm.

Alpheton is Al-fee-t'n, with the stress on the middle syllable.

Aspall is As-p'l.

Athelington can be Al-ing-t'n, but most Suffolkers call it Ath-ling-t'n.

Benacre is Benna-k'h

Bildeston is Bil-dus-t'n

Great Blakenham and Little Blakenham are Blay-k'n'm

Blundeston is Blun-der-st'n

Blythburgh is Bly-th-bruh

Botesdale is Bottiz-dale

Boulge is Bool-j

Bramfield is Bram-feeld and Brampton is Bram-pt'n, but Bramford is Brar-m-f'd!

Brent Eleigh is Brent Ee-lee

Brome rhymes with dome, not with doom.

Bromeswell is Broom-sw'l

Bruisyard is Broos-yard

Bucklesham is Buk'l-sh'm

Bungay is Bun-gee (hard g on the second syllable)

Bures is Bew-ers, but Suffolkers tend to call it Boo-ers.

Burgh is Berg

Burstall is Ber-st'l

Bury is Berry

Buxhall is Buks-orl

Capel St Andrew and Capel St Mary are Kay-p'l

Cavenham is Kav-n'm

Chedburgh is Ched-bruh

Chelmondiston is as it looks, but the stress is on the third syllable.

Chillesford is Chiller-sf'd

Combs is Cooms

Cowlinge is Koo-linj

Debach is Debb'ch

Denham is Den'm

Drinkstone is Drink-st'n

Dunwich is Dunn-idge

East Bergholt is East Bur-g'lt

Edwardstone is Ed-w'd-st'n

Ellough is Ell-ow, or sometimes Eel-ow

Erwarton is as it looks, but the stress is on the second syllable.

Eye is as it looks, like the letter i.

Eyke is ai-k

Fakenham is Fay-k'n'm

Falkenham is Foll-k'n'm

Finborough is Fin-bruh

Flowton is Flow-t'n

Freckenham is Frek-n'm

Frostenden is Frost-un-d'n

Gisleham is Gizz-l'm

Gislingham is Gizz-ling'm

Groton is Grow-t'n, the first syllable rhyming with slow.

Grundisburgh is Gruns-bruh

Hacheston is Hatch-a-st'n

Hadleigh is Had-lee

Halesworth is as it looks, but becomes Harls-w'th in the local accent!

Harleston is Harl-st'n

Haughley is Hor-lee

Hawstead is Hor-st'd

Haverhill is Hay-ver-ill, usually reduced locally to two syllables, Hay-vrill.

Hemingstone is Hemming'st'n

Heveningham can be Henning'm, but is more often Hay-v'ning'm or Hev-ning'm

Higham is Hy'm

Hinderclay is Hin-der-clay, the first syllable rhyming with shin.

Hintlesham is Hint'l-sh'm

Hollesley is Hoze-lee

Homersfield is Hummers-feeld

Horham is Horrum, the first syllable short, sounding as in Horror and the same length as the first syllable of Durham.

Horringer is Horrin-ja

Hoxne is Hox-un, rhyming with oxen.

Iken is eye-k'n, the first syllable the same as Eye.

Ilketshall is Il-ka-shawl, with the middle 't' only faintly there.

Kettleburgh is Ket'l-bruh

Kirton is the same as curtain.

Knettishall is Net-i-shawl

Knodishall is Nod-i-shawl

Lakenheath is Lay-k'n-heeth

Lavenham is Lav'n'm, which locally becomes two syllables rather than three.

Lawshall is Lor-shaw

Leavenheath is Levv'n-heeth

Leiston is Lay-st'n

Lidgate is Lid-g't

Lindsey is Lin-zee

Long Melford is Long Melf'd, but Melford becomes Mel-f't locally.

Lound rhymes with pound

Lowestoft is Lower-stoff't, the final t omitted locally.

Marlesford is Marl-sf'd

Martlesham is Mar-t'l-sh'm

Mettingham is Met-ing'm

Monewden is Mon-a-d'n

Monks Eleigh is Monks Ee-lee

Needham is Need'm

Occold is Ok'ld

Onehouse is as it looks, but locals call it Wun-uss!

Ousden is Ooz-d'n

Pakenham is Pay-k'n'm

Parham is Parrum, the first syllable as in parrot.

Peasenhall is Pee-s'n-horl

Pettaugh is Petter

Ramsholt is Ram-sawlt, the last syllable the same as salt.

Rede is Reed

Rendlesham is Ren-d'l-sh'm

Reydon is Ray-d'n

Ringshall is Ring-sh'l

Rishangles is Rish-an-g'ls

Rougham is Ruff'm

Rumburgh is Rum-bruh

Saxmundham is Sax-mund'm, but, unusually, the stress is on the second syllable.

Semer is see-m'h

Shadingfield is Shadd-ing-field

Shelland is Shell'nd

Somerleyton is Summer-layt'n, the stress on the third syllable.

Somersham is Summer-sh'm

Somerton is Summer-t'n

Sotherton is Suther-t'n

South Elmham is South Ell-m'm

Spexhall is Spek-sorl

Sproughton is Spror-t'n

Stonham is Stonn'm

Stoven is Stuvv'n

Stowmarket is as it looks, but locals prounce it Stoo-market, with the stress on the second syllable!

Stradbroke is Strad-brook

Stradishall is Strad-e-shorl

Sudbury is Sud-b'ree

Syleham is Si-l'm

Thelnetham is Thell-nay-th'm or Thell-nee-th'm, with the stress on the second syllable.

Thorpe Morieux is Thorp M'roo

Thurleston is Thurl-st'n

Thwaite can be T'wait, but most people call it Thwait.

Tuddenham is Tud'n'm

Ubbeston is Ubber-st'n

Ufford is Uff'd

Uggeshall is Ugg-a-shawl or Ugg-a-sh'l.

Waldingfield is Wall-dingfield, with the stress on the first syllable.

Waldringfield is Wall-dringfield, with the stress on the first syllable.

Wenhaston is Wenner-st'n

Westhall is Wess-t'l

Westleton is Wessel-t'n

Wetheringsett is Weth'ring-set

Weybread is Way-br'd

Great Whelnetham and Little Whelnetham are Well-nee-th'm, with the stress on the second syllable. This village is sometimes spelt Welnetham.

Wherstead is Ware-st'd

Wickhambrook is Wick'm-bruk

Wissington can be Wiss-t'n, more commonly Wissing-t'n these days.

Witnesham is Wit-ner-sh'm

Woolverstone is Wul-ver-st'n

Worlingham is wur-ling-'m

Worlington is wur-ling-t'n

Worlingworth is wur-ling-w'th

Wortham is Wur-th'm

Wrentham is Ren-th'm

Wyverstone is Wy-ver-st'n